What Is Level 1 Ultrasound in Pregnancy?
The first ultrasound of pregnancy is between 6 and 14 weeks and provides the first information on the embryo and its state of well-being. If carried out between 11 and 13 weeks, it can be combined with a blood test to estimate the risk of chromosomal diseases.
It is the first meeting, one of the most exciting, of the future parents with their baby. We talk about the first ultrasound, which is typically performed in the first trimester of pregnancy. If carried out early, around 6-7 weeks, what you see is only a "string bean" with a small beating heart.
This ultrasound is also known as obstetric ultrasound. Obstetric ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of a baby (embryo or fetus) that is inside a pregnant woman, as well as the uterus and the mother's ovaries. It does not use ionizing radiations which has no harmful effects, and that's why it is the favored method for monitoring pregnant women and their unborn babies.
A Doppler ultrasound (a technique that evaluates blood flow in the umbilical cord, in the fetus, or in the placenta) may be part of this test.
This procedure does not require any special preparation. Because you only need to expose the area of the lower abdomen, it would be convenient to wear a loose, two-piece outfit. Leave the jewelry at home. Level 1 Ultrasound is safe and painless and produces images of the inside of the body using sound waves. Because ultrasound images are captured in real time, they can show the structure and movement of the internal organs of the body, as well as the blood that flows through the blood vessels.
Obstetric ultrasound provides images of an embryo or fetus inside a woman's uterus, as well as the uterus and the mother's ovaries.
During an obstetric ultrasound, the examiner can evaluate the blood flow in the umbilical cord or, in some cases, assess the blood flow in the fetus or placenta.
What Is Level 2 Ultrasound in Pregnancy?
It is the study that is carried out with a high definition ultrasound equipment, counting with experienced doctors in the area, whose preparation allows them to know the normal development of the fetus in the different stages of pregnancy as well as the detection of abnormalities in its formation. In turn, they must perform a diagnostic integration, monitoring, prognosis, and treatment in these cases, which is a support for the treating physician.
The term 2nd level ultrasound refers to an examination on a particular indication for at-risk pregnancy, performed by a highly skilled operator with high-tech equipment, aimed at investigating the diagnosis of fetal abnormalities and evaluating fetal end-endemic growth, to the maternal-fetal hemodynamic control through the use of Doppler Velocimetry and to the monitoring of obstetric pathology.
For patients who request it, the examination can be completed by an ultrasound scan to screen for chromosomal abnormalities and a transvaginal ultrasound of the cervix for predicting premature delivery.
You didn’t get your period. You have sore breasts and you are tired. You get your pregnancy test done and find yourself to be pregnant. Good News!! You are pregnant and it’s time for you to get your blood test and an ultrasound done.
What should you expect during your examination?
When you’ll be six to eight weeks pregnant, your first ultrasound also called as the sonogram will be done. You should ask your doctor whether your bladder should be full for the test or not. Since sound waves are easily able to travel through the liquid, therefore, your bladder being full can make your ultrasound’s quality to be better.
At this stage your baby is very small therefore, your uterus and your Fallopian tube are close to your birth canal as compared to the abdomen, hence, your transvaginal test or TVS will be conducted so that your doctor can get a clearer picture.Don’t worry!! This test is absolutely painless.A thin wand like transducer probe transmitting sound waves of high frequency will be placed in your Vagina through your Uterus. These sound waves bounce off the fetus sending the signals back to the machine converting these bounced back reflections of the image of your baby. These images are black and white. A clearer picture will be seen after 13 weeks as the first snapshot of your baby will not give a very clear picture.
Importance of the First Trimester
After listening to the heartbeat of your baby, your doctor estimates the age of your baby by measuring the length of your baby from head to bottom. Since the baby is extremely small and is growing about a millimetre per day, therefore, your doctor will be able to find out the milestones during your pregnancy.This ultrasound will help your doctor rule out the possibility of a tubal or ectopic pregnancy. This pregnancy happens when your fetus starts growing in the Fallopian tube and not in the Uterus. Also, whether your pregnancy is with the multiples or not will be revealed by your doctor.
After 18-20 weeks of your pregnancy, you are scheduled for a detailed ultrasound. This ultrasound will give you a good look at your baby.
What should you expect during examination?
This Ultrasound also called as the level 2 ultrasound anatomy scan will be held for about 25 to 45 minutes. This would happen only if you have one baby but if you have multiples, the time to be taken for this ultrasound might be more than 45 minutes. This is done by the doctor to ensure that all the organs of your baby are developing properly. Though this will give you a detailed picture of your developing child but only a doctor’s eye will be able to correctly distinguish between the Kidneys and the stomach. So, seek the help of your doctor or the technician who is doing the ultrasound for you to see the organs of your baby properly.
While you are made to lie on the examination table, your doctor would slather gel on your abdomen and then will use a plastic transducer on the belly. This would transmit sound waves of high frequency through your uterus. Believe me –it’s actually an amazing experience to see your child on the TV screen.
Importance of the Second Trimester
This would be the most thorough check up of your baby. The heart’s rate will be checked by the doctor. Also, if there are certain abnormalities persisting in the Heart, Liver, Brain and the Kidneys, the doctor will be able to diagnose. Your baby’s fingers and toes will be counted by the doctor, the birth defects will be checked, the Placenta will be examined and Amniotic fluid level will be measured. The technician or the doctor will also be able to determine the Sex of the baby. For getting the glimpse of your baby’s bone structure and the nose, you can even seek a 3-D view.
When the ultrasound of your baby is used for the medical purposes, it’s supposed to be extremely safe for you as well as your baby. You should only be careful with the person performing the ultrasound-it has to be a trained professional possessing ample experience for correctly interpreting the results and detecting abnormalities.